The Arab world is home to more than 300 million people. It’s also home to some of the most fashionable women in the world. From UAE, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt to Qatar, and everything in between, women in the Arab world are known for their attention to detail when it comes to fashion.
These women have also mastered the art of combining different aesthetics and mixing tailored silhouettes with loose ones. The results are outfits that are both comfortable and flattering at the same time. Every single piece they wear tells a story about their personality as well. However, there are certain trends that are unique to different cultures. Ahead, discover more about the unique fashion of Arabic women and how they influence high fashion:
Traditional Arabic dress
The traditional dress of Arabic women is very different from modern western clothing. Saudi Arabian women, for example, wear long tunics or robes, sometimes with lace trimming. Men wear a mantle or robe. The aba or abaya, a long, box-like garment made of cream-colored wool with jewel buttons, is an example of a traditional dress in the region – although the western fashion has gained traction among the Emirati woman. In Algeria, Syria, and Tunisia, the garment is known as the jellaba.
A thobe is a form of long, loose gown. It usually features bands of embroidery at the hem and sleeves. The dress is also made of a soft fabric called kharabi, which can be easily worn with a skirt.
Arab clothing is extremely diverse, with many countries embracing western-style and incorporating elements of Western culture. While western clothes dominate big cities, local garments are common in small towns and villages. In addition, many countries in the region share common clothing pieces, such as the gandoura and burnous, while others have very distinct styles. In a cosmopolitan city like Dubai, western styles take precedence, although this is not to downplay the gorgeous Abaya dresses in the region.
However, the modernized Arab fashion is most common in women's clothing. This usually involves using new materials and color schemes. Another popular trend is modest clothing. Lebanese women do not usually wear hijab, but they still wear serials to express their identity. Even their male counterparts have female versions. It has become extremely popular among the upper classes and celebrities. The trend may continue, however, but it is clear that modest dress will never die.
Variations of traditional the Arabic dress
Traditional Arab clothing has influenced high fashion in several ways. Some Arab countries have followed Western fashion trends, while others have remained traditional in their dress. Saudi Arabia, for example, has maintained traditional dress for its women. Gowns and trousers can signal social class, wealth, and personality, and garments can also reflect moral values. For example, women who don't wear a hijab are regarded as less religious and more tolerant than women who wear one.
In the Gulf region, many Arab countries have stricter clothing laws, and they are represented by the different styles and variations of Arab women's clothing. For example, the clothing in these countries is more conservative than in the Western countries, with stricter Islamic laws and philosophies being a foundation for the fashion industry. Consequently, a woman's clothing should reflect her country's culture and history.
Despite its modesty, the modernization of Arabic fashion has a positive effect on the global fashion industry. For example, modest clothing has become a major trend in the Arab world, with some designers modernizing the traditional styles both in men's and women's fashion, with a focus on color and material as a significant part of the detail.
Throughout history, Islamic clothing has influenced Western culture, from the fez to the Turkish pants to the turban. Western media has portrayed the veil as a symbol of class identity, social mobility, and opposition to the West. This, however, has not stopped large groups of Arab women from wearing the veil as their everyday attire. This is a testament to the deeply rooted cultural codes that determine what is considered traditional dress in the Middle East.
Impact on high fashion
Fashion designers have turned to ancient history for inspiration and are taking inspiration from Arabic women. The traditional dresses and veils of the Arabic women are now being reinterpreted by the new generation of designers. While some are using traditional designs and adding new accents, others are using modern materials and colors to make these styles more contemporary. They are also using the modest clothing of the Arab world to inspire new trends.
The Hijab, which is an open-ended, billowy overcoat, has been reinterpreted into a wide array of styles. A popular choice is a flowing rectangular or square fabric that covers the head like a scarf. These garments can be elegant, feminine, and even contain beautiful beadings and shiny filaments. Another example is the jilbab, a form-fitting cloak worn by Muslim women in public. While both are considered modest, a hijab can conceal the eyes and face and still maintain a feminine appearance.
Despite the fact that Islamic dress has strict rules about modesty, modern fashion designers interpret these Islamic clothing styles to suit their aesthetic values. While the hijab and simple abaya designs have long been associated with modesty, the vintage look of Arabian clothing is a fusion of femininity and glamour without the figure-hugging silhouettes. Menswear designers have also adopted the look of ancient Arabian women, and are now teaming it with masculine trenches.
In addition to reinterpreting traditional artisanship, some designers are now collaborating with activists and other groups in order to promote the unique style of Arab women. These women are also taking their role in high fashion by challenging traditional standards. They are changing the way people dress. They are using their own traditions and culture as inspiration. They are now becoming more conscious of what they wear and how they express themselves. The impact of Arabic women's unique style on high fashion cannot be overstated.